Civil Liberties

Orange County, Fla. Sheriff: "We are a paramilitary organization"

11 new deputies sworn in


Wearing their new forest-green uniforms and shiny boots, 11 new deputies swore to "support, protect, and defend," as the newest recruits in the Orange County Sheriff's Office, which is poised to bring dozens more men and women into its ranks this year.

Sheriff Jerry Demings is on a hiring spree and his newest employees — seven patrol deputies, three court deputies and a reserve deputy — include military veterans, retired law-enforcement officers returning to the job, fresh-faced academy recruits and a former crime-scene investigator.

An improving economy has allowed Demings to open 125 positions that have been frozen since 2009. So far, 60 have been filled as the pool of qualified applicants grows with service members leaving the military and entering civilian life, said the Sheriff's Recruiting and Background Manager Mary Ann Salazar.

"We are a paramilitary organization, so hiring veterans makes sense, and its important to the sheriff to bring in these highly skilled men and women," Salazar said.

h/t Jon Chapin